As President Ray has informed you via a recent communication, OSU is pursuing the necessary steps to achieve accreditation from the Association for the Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC). This accomplishment will be an important validation of the quality of OSU’s animal program and, once achieved, will secure our place with other top research universities as it relates to quality animal care. We already have excellent faculty and staff devoted to ensuring the appropriate care and use of animals involved in research, teaching and testing. Accreditation provides OSU with the benchmark that confirms we are committed to following the Federal Regulations, national standards and institutional policy related to the use of animals in research. It will aid our faculty in obtaining increasingly fewer available federal research dollars.

I intend to send periodic communications to the community of animal users on our progress and next steps. The Research Office staff will be providing additional information, in a variety of ways, to assist you in your preparation efforts.

Our first focus is a self-evaluation of our animal care and use program. The self-evaluation process, required to develop a comprehensive, written description of our program, will be completed during the next nine months. During this time, a working group will identify programmatic needs, strengthen communications, identify areas where resources need to be devoted, and develop plans for needs that will take longer to resolve than our nine-month time-frame.

The working group cannot function in isolation from our animal users and care providers and, therefore, each of you will be a critical part of our assessment and contributions. We will be seeking your assistance in numerous aspects of the process and will solicit your feedback on our written application for accreditation. In the near future, through a series of communications, we will engage you and all of our stakeholders in a number of specific activities.

At the conclusion of this process, we will submit our written description to AAALAC. A time will be scheduled for their inspection team to review our program. These individuals will come on-site and speak with our animal users and care providers, ensuring that our activities match the written description.

Throughout this process, our IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) and our Attending Veterinarian (AV) will play significant roles in overseeing and defining programmatic details and animal care standards.  The IACUC and AV are the institutional bodies that hold primary responsibility for our animal care and use program, but a successful program will require the participation and input from all of you, members of the university community that employ vertebrate animals for research, instruction or testing.

I provide below some additional information from the AAALAC website. I look forward to this process and obtaining accreditation.

Richard W. Spinrad, Ph.D., CMarSci
Vice President for Research
Research Office
Oregon State University
A312 Kerr Administration Building
Corvallis OR 97331-2140
Phone 541-737-0664
Fax 541-737-9041